People in the UAE woke up to a bizarre sight accompanying their morning coffee: A clean, white front page without a single image on it.
Strange, but true. In our image-obsessed world, where pictures are a sure source of instant gratification, a campaign coming out of the UAE recently – #WorldWithoutPhotography – has begged serial instagrammers, photography enthusiasts and daily consumers of the image to imagine their life without pictures, or photographers.
It was just another morning for homes, offices, educational institutions across the UAE on Wednesday until news readers picked up the Gulf News and Al Khaleej with their first cups of coffee.
Bang, a front page without a single image on it. But why? “We wanted our message to be seen by every individual who has a memory attached to a picture,” the organising committee of the International Photography Festival, Xposure 2019, has clarified.
The idea for this 360 degree campaign emerged from a simple wish: to offer tribute to the remarkable work that has been put in collectively by generations of photographers, which have enabled the world to put a face to breaking news, nature’s beauty and its wrath, people and their emotions, arts and life, architecture, science and medicine, music, literature – simply everything that we owe our visual memories to.
How would we make sense of this world we live in? Especially aspects of it we cannot see. These are thoughts and questions that have emerged from this unique campaign, which has tapped into print, online and outdoor platforms.
Social media engagement in less than 24 hours since the campaign was launched has generated 12 million impressions recorded in 15 countries including US, Canada, UK, Saudi, UAE, Egypt, South Africa and India. 700 individuals from around the world including famous photographers, social media influencers, media figures and the general public have engaged with the campaign this far, taking engagement up to 15,800 at the time this was written.
Massive billboards across the UAE carrying blank ads with just the mention of the campaign hashtag are equally attention grabbing as they are thought provoking.